Bella Girl - DANICA CHEETHAM
She’s a gorgeous redhead with funky style and a mind of her own. Autumn’s Bella Girl, 19-year old Danica Cheetham, tells Elissa Dowling a little about herself and her plans for the future.
So, the first thing I notice about you is your striking red hair. Is it natural?
I was always a brunette and I had never ever dyed my hair before, so when I left school it was the first change I made. When I asked my hairdresser to dye my beautiful, natural hair bright red she almost refused but she did it anyway and loved it. I think it’s because red is the rarest hair colour that I love it so much. My Nanna is a natural redhead and, to be honest, I have a bit of an infatuation with redheads.
You love dressing in original clothing. Tell me a bit about that.
Half my wardrobe is from op shops. Second hand clothing has a story to tell - I may not know what that story is, but it’s there and I’m a part of it. I do love new clothes as well, anything that has some edge or femininity that I can mix with my op shop pieces. I dress in a way that can express my personality and tell people a little bit about me before they’ve even met me.
Well then, tell me a bit about you. What’s your family like?
CRAZY! My mum, Sharlene, and my dad, Ivan, are two of the most amazing people in the world! I get a lot of my creativity from my mum. She has always encouraged, inspired and pushed me further than I thought I could ever go. My dad - well there aren’t words. He’s the best dad in the world. I have three younger sisters. Kiara, who is 18, is my best friend ever. Then there’s Macie, who’s 10 – she’s very smart, always knows what she wants and will most likely tell you. And then Tessa, who’s 8, and has the cheekiest grins and says some of the most hilarious things I’ve ever heard.
Where are you working?
I’m an apprentice chef at a local café. I never planned to get into it but I was working there as a waitress and somehow ended up in the kitchen. I’ve been doing it for a little over a year now. BUT, I’ve just stopped my apprenticeship to go to New Zealand for two months!
So, being a chef wasn’t part of your plans?
It’s not something I always wanted to do but I don’t regret it. I’ve gained so much experience. I’ve learnt how to interact and work with other people and run a kitchen. The pressure you have to deal with is indescribable but totally worth it.
What will you do in New Zealand?
I don’t have a plan for New Zealand. A lot of things have changed recently so I’m taking some time off to have a break and do some travelling while I have the chance. But I really want to get into the fashion industry one day, maybe teach myself how to sew for a start, or something like that. I’m a visually creative person, it runs in my blood. That’s something I will always come back to, no matter what.
What do you do in your spare time, any hobbies?
I would have to say sleep is my hobby, the unearthly shifts that come with working in a kitchen haven’t given me much of a chance to do anything else. Going to New Zealand will be my chance to focus more on the things I love to do. Anything visual catches my attention.Fashion, photography, film, magazines, drawing - if it can be seen, chances are it will inspire me!
In this edition, we’ve looked at the true meaning of beauty. What is beauty to you?
Beauty is not just clothes and hair and makeup (as much as I love these things) – they only enhance your looks. If you don’t have confidence and self-respect you won’t feel beautiful in the way you present yourself. I think someone who can still laugh amidst chaos is definitely a beautiful person.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
One thing someone told me once is that you can learn to love anyone. And it’s true, you really can, though it is possibly one of the hardest things you could do. Most of the obstacles we face in life are just mindsets but if you can learn to love anyone, isn’t it possible you can change your mindset about anything? If you can change your mindset, you can change your situation. If you can change your situation, what’s stopping you from changing the world? Because I’m more of an observer, I see things a lot of people miss. There is so much you can learn from the small things in life. Like taking the time to notice how long it takes for that insignificant little ant to travel the same distance you could in just one step. Insignificant things can change your perspective on life. They force you to wonder whether the things we stress and worry about really matter that much in the end.
What would you like to say to Bella girls?
Change the world and laugh often!
WRITTEN ELISSA DOWLING | PHOTO KATIE EBENEZER